I’m a firm believer of taking the time out of a busy schedule and running around like a chicken with no head to count my blessing. Expressing gratitude for the life I have created is a practice that keeps me grounded.
This week I am grateful for: –
My beautiful daughter and her hearty belly laugh which she entered this world with and continues to share.
The home we have created. This isn’t just the roof above our heads and the funds to pay the rent but also the experiences and moments we share within its walls.
My husband who may be suffering himself through mental illness but shows up for me when needed and asked.
Our creative project that will share my love of the natural world with others. This has been over 6 years in the making and it is only now that I’m appreciating that it is happening.
My friends who have stood by my through the good times but more importantly through the bad.
I have been blessed. Someone out there is watching me and liking what I’m doing as I share my journey with creativity and encourage more women to listen to their creative needs and wants and just do it.
I have been gifted a place on Connie Solera’s last session of Painting the Feminine; a painting ecourse where we take the time and space to explore feminine energy and wisdom.
I have completed this course twice before and was fixing to enrol on this final run but finances were just not on my side. But I sent my desires out into the Universe and they were answered with this gift.
I’m truly grateful for this opportunity to dive deeper, listening to my intuition and inner wisdom to paint from my soul and heart. I’m having such a sacred time, as painting becomes a daily practice as well as a special ritual of savouring each moment.
This piece is called: Trust. I think it’s all in their facial expressions. They are so in the know. I love them. I think I’ve found my tribe and they were inside me all along. I love that.
suggestive here of rest or of sleep
you should see the Yellow House!
Especially in the sun. It’s working
its magic on my tired eyes. Here
in the heart of Provence, I’m blessed.
I write to you giving you details
about the direction of my work.
It’s simple really. I plan to paint
my bedroom. I will paint my bedroom
for you so you will at least have a feel
for this place. A taste. It’s a kind of blue.
Like musical notes fading in and out
with the light. A suggestion of something.
The door, the walls, my jackets and
washing jug and bowl. Blue.
Cornflower blue. Prussian blue.
Lilac blue. Can you picture it?
I lie my head down here and dream
ideas. I see the colour blue caressing
my floating body in this room.
You’ll see when…
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A couple of evenings ago now, I attended a life drawing class locally. This was the first time I’d attempted something like this. But in all honesty, I wasn’t worried about going along. And once I got there, I totally enjoyed it.
It was weird at first though as when I got there, I recognised one of the women standing up taking. I thought to myself, I didn’t know such and such as an artist. It was only when the introductions were made did I realise she wasn’t an artist but the life model.
It could have been an embarrassing night after that but it turned out to be very liberating and interesting. Within that setting, the human body naked became nothing to be embarrassed about but became something else. Something, an object for want of a better word, that I was attempting to capture a likeness of on paper. It wasn’t flesh but more so angles and curves, light and shade.
It was good practice for getting lost in the flow of creativity. To feel the texture of the paper, hear the scratch of pencil as well the rubbing of charcoal and stains appearing everywhere. My senses became heightened and I was present in the moment. It was awesome.
Would I return? Yes I would but I would probably go along to an open session rather than a tutored session. As I didn’t go along so much as to learn about drawing the human form ‘properly’ with the right proportions. I went along to play and just let loose. A chance to try something new and free up my creativity. I’m not practicing this to get anything right. I’m doing this just to express what I feel or see or think. That is always right to me. For me.
Welcome back to the new look website. I hope you’ve noticed the changes!
For one the website address might still be saying ‘Living Wild Studios’ but the title is proudly showing my artist name, Sheree Angela Matthews. This has always been my practicing artist name but for a while there it was acting as my one and only name.
When I needed to go underground and keep a low profile, Sheree Angela Matthews became my safe haven. And I am so grateful for this name stepping up as it did.
During this Summer’s social media hiatus, this website lay dormant and I spend a lot of time thinking and creating and planning. To the point that as this hiatus comes to an end, I’m now ready to step out from the shadows and reclaim all of my names, all of my identities. I’m ready to come home.
What does this mean? It means division and diversity. It means Living Wild Studios remains my home for my artistic creations. Here you will find my paintings, prints, photography and collages. Even some visual journaling and ecourses.
But from now on if I’m not writing on my Patreon Page then I’m writing on my new SistaSite, Sheree Mack. Over there, you can read all my musings and essays and articles and creative writing. There I will have room to spread my wings and allow my voice to soar. I hope to see you over there sometime. But in the meantime, enjoy looking around here. And if you have any questions or requests or commissions drop me an email. I’ll be happy to connect with you.
While coming to the end of my first trip to Iceland, while relaxing after time at The Blue Lagoon realising that I wanted to return to my life back home with Grace, I made a promise to myself that I would return to Iceland. I had to return.
It was from this point onwards that I started to look at artists’ residencies. I had just spent a week touring the whole of Iceland, so I was looking to base myself in one place for the duration of a residency in order to give myself a different experience.
The only place I couldn’t get to this first time around was the Westfjords. I’m not sure if I did this on purpose so I’d have to return or because it was about 8 to 9 hours drive to get there from Reykjavik off the Ring Road. This gave me a good enough reason to return as well as to fix my sights on a retreat in the Westfjords.
Through my research I found The Westfjords Residency.
“We seek to create encounters between nature and man, foreigner and local, the remote and the connected.“
A Danish-Belgian couple came to Thingeyri in 2005, started to rebuild an old, historic house into a coffeehouse called “Simbahöllin” in 2009. They then went on to create a cultural space with the Residency program being part of this. They offer group residencies that can be applied for but also self-directed individual residencies.
Before I worked out what I really wanted to do with my time in the Westfjords, I put in an application asking for a two week stay in winter 2017. I knew I had to immerse myself in the landscape of Iceland more, to explore this curious relationship and connection I had formed with this place. Basing myself in a remote and isolated fishing village was the ideal situation to do so.
I look back now at the time I spent in the Westfjords, while still in Iceland but this time in the south, and I wonder what happened then. What did I do with my time out there? What did I achieve, if anything?
I could judge this endeavour along productivity lines. I could judge it by the all-doing, all- going and all-singing-and-dancing routine that are the external markers of today’s society. It’s how we function.
But that would be missing the point. A residency or retreat, for that matter, is about the time and space away from the everyday not doing the usual. An opportunity to settle deeper into the self. It’s a chance to take your foot off the accelerator and to press on the brakes, gently. Allowing yourself to come to a complete stop and just be.
Breathe, deep breaths not the shallow sharp ones that you’ve been getting by on for years. But really deep juicy breaths that fill you up with wonder and awe and reignite you again from the core, from your true self.
Taking my cues from this definition of a residency then my time spent in the Westfjords was time well spent. I look forward to repeating the experience.
Day 3: in my mind
Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful parts of us.
– David Richo
My wounds ooze daily,
festering on the tip
of my tongue, lodging
in my throat.
Sometimes, they swirl
like a cyclone
through my ribcage,
aching deep inside.
My wounds are hidden,
hidden deep within my gut,
wearing away the lining,
washing away anything good
My wounds are fleshy and harsh
and vibrant and painful.
But you wouldn’t know
to look at me.
I smile. I laugh. I perform
kind gestures. I pretend.
My wounds are hazardous to life,
carrying a warning sign.
In my mind, I am healing.
I do the work, convince myself
all can be well. That I am worthy.
That I am enough.
But this is useless
if not translated
into the body.
These healing vibes
need to be transmitted
along my blood lines,
pumped into the centre
of my wounds
as it’s the body
#sheofthewildwrites #writersofinstagram #womenscreativity #poetsofinstagram #iamwriting #poetry
She of the Wild announced this challenge at the beginning of the year. We’re doing a daily writing challenge for January 2018.
Use the prompts to fuel each day’s writing, then you can share what you write with the writing community on social media, Instagram mostly, using the hashtag #sheofthewildwrites.
This is a great way to get back into a daily writing pracfice. I am most grateful to Beth Morey for organising this as I know this challenge is going to stretch me but in a good way. Join in.
This year I attempted to make a concerted effort to read more books. I felt that I was missing out on rich and varied worlds and ideas by not reading enough. I started off well but I think things went off the boil mid-year, when things in my family life got a bit hectic and harrowing.
I’m trying to pick things up now moving into 2018. To choose just one book as the best for the year is something I cannot do. Also you usually just remember the last few books you’ve read as they are the most recent. To think back over the year, if you haven’t been keeping track is difficult to do anyway. Note to self: keep a record of what I read next year!!!
So I choose Burning Woman by Lucy H. Pearce on the premise that this is one of the books I have kept returning to over the year as it is so packed with juicy truths that resonate with me deeply. This is kind of like a handbook for claiming our power as women internally and externally. I definitely claim the title of a burning woman. #decemberreflections2017